How to protect yourself from UV Radiation

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - There's often a misconception that cooler days mean you have a lower risk of getting a sunburn.

However, Amanda McMillon, St. Bernard's Community Educator said that's not the case.

McMillon said, "The air temperature doesn't have much to do with it. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are still out there and so you can still get sunburns."

In the summer, the sun's angle is higher and more direct, which only increases UV radiation. There are several ways to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays.

"Sunscreen, sun-protective clothing. If it's really sunny outside, sunglasses would be appropriate to prevent eye damage," said McMillon.

According to research, just because you are wearing clothes, doesn't mean you are completely protected. Material with a tight weave is better than ones with looser weaves. If you can see through your clothing, UV rays can get through them too. That's why it's good to wear dark colors and always wear a hat.

It's recommended that you wear sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. But McMillon said children or people with fair skin should at least use an SPF of 30 or higher.

If at all possible you want to avoid being outside for long periods of time especially during certain times of the day.

"The hours between 10am and 4pm in the day, the suns UV rays are at its highest. Those would be times that you want to avoid if you don't have to be outside," said McMillon.

Overexposure not only can lead to sunburns, but more serious problems down the road if you don't protect yourself.

McMillon said, "The more you're out in the sun, even at younger ages, as you get older you're going to have an increased risk for skin cancer."

McMillon said skin cancer in Arkansas is one of the highest across the nation. At the same time skin cancer also remains one of the most prevalent types of cancer.

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